Romani (Gypsy) culture and social issues.
Anniversary of the Murder of
Hassan Elamin Abdelradi
November 8, 1998 marked one year since the murder of Sudanese student Hassan Elamin Abdelradi. On the occassion of this sad anniversary, the Documentation Center for Human Rights (Prague, Czech Republic) released the following document.

On November 8, 1997, around 2,30 A.M. two skinheads attacked a Sudanese man at a disco at Biskupcova 3, in the Prague 3 district. Shouting racist slogans, they threatened to kill him. He tried to run away from them and hide in the Jarov dormitories, but was pursued by one of the skinheads. Finding another Sudanese in a corridor, the skinhead stabbed a student of the Economic Faculty twice in the abdomen. The Sudanese student died as a result of this attack. His compatriot suffered deep cuts to his hands.

Police charged the main perpetrator with racially-motivated murder on the same day. One day later his companion was charged with a criminal offence under paragraph 196/2 of the Criminal Code. Initially both were investigated in detention. One of them was later released by the court. The Prague Municipal Court sentenced the main perpetrator to 14 1/2 years imprisonment and his partner to 7 1/2 months in prison. Both have appealed the sentence. Leaving Java restaurant just a short time after the end of a court hearing, the skinhead who received the lesser sentence was approached and bullied by a group of approximately sixteen skinheads. He was repeatedly punched in the head and kicked in the stomach. He ended up in Vinohrady Hospital with minor injuries. In questioning by police, he claimed he was attacked by punkers and Sharpskins.

The Appeal Court shortened the main perpetrator's sentence by one year and gave the lesser sentence three years probation.

Since the violent death of Sudanese student Hassan Elamin Abdelradi, 242 racially- or ideologically-motivated crimes have been reported - 185 of them violent. More than 203 people were attacked in the cases monitored.

More than 357 perpetrators were registered as involved in these attacks, many of them on several occassions.

These figures are far from complete, as experience shows that we learn of many cases after some time, and in some cases, after several years delay.

At least two other people were killed.

February 1998 - 11 p.m. - at least two skinheads attacked a 26-year-old Roma mother of four, Helena Bihariova, in Vrchlabi. Calling her "black swine", "black whore", and "stinking dirt" they attacked her, beat and kicked her, and pushed her into the Labe River. A 48-year-old female journalist tried to help her out but Helena Bihariova drowned afer a twenty-minute struggle. Her body was only recovered after two days search.

The Czech Radio reporter, who tried to help was saved and taken to an intensive care unit.

Police investigators charged three suspects with causing bodily harm with racial motive and all three have been detained. One of them was released after several days and cleared of the charges. Eight days after this attack the charge was changed to racially-motivated murder. On June 23, 1998 the state prosecutor accused both of the criminal offence of extortion with deadly result along paragraph 235/1,3 of the Criminal Code in combination with disturbing the peace and conspiracy.

On September 29, 1998 the Regional Court in Hradec Kralove sentenced one of the men to 8 1/2 years and the second to 6 1/2 years in prison.

May 17,1998 in Orlova - Lutyne a group of skinheads, aged between sixteen and twenty, attacked first verbally and then physically three Roma, who were coming from the U Malky  restaurant twenty minutes after midnight.

The Roma tried to escape and were pursued by four skinheads. A 40-year-old Roma, Milan Lacko, was left lying in the middle of the road after the attack, suffering from punches and kicks. Several minutes later he was run over by a lorry whose driver did not stop. Five to ten minutes later he was run over by second car, though he was most probably already dead.

On October 26, 1998 a District Court in Karvina sentenced the young perpetrators for the criminal offence of attempting minor bodily harm to conditional sentences.

The vast majority of perpetrators declare themselves to be skinheads. In many cases they are members of organized groups like Bohemia Hammer Skins or Patriotic Front. Attacks are made mostly by larger groups of people against individuals or pairs. In many cases, attacks target small children. On at least four occassions the perpetrators have been
identified as policemen or army personnel.

Most of the attacks target Roma citizens or those believed by attackers to be Roma. We have recorded 107 cases, 23 of which were against the homes of Roma families. In at least 3 cases Molotov cocktails were used against Roma homes. At least 18 attacks were aimed against foreigners. In six cases a firearm was used and in at least 7 cases those attacked were stabbed with knives.

At least 10 of the skinhead attacks were motivated ideologically. In 5 cases attackers acted against people whom they believed were Jews. In at least 6 cases large groups of skinheads attacked antiracist demonstrations. In 8 cases the perpetrators attacking Romas were not skinheads. In two of these attacks a firearm was used.

We have recorded:

In 1995, the Justice Ministry issued a ruling to all Prosecutor's Offices ordering the obligatory special reporting procedure for criminal offences with racial or chauvinistic motivation. The last such summary report from the Ministry from May 1998 registers 93 such cases between January 1 and May 18. The Documentation Center For Human Rights during the same period recorded 54 more cases.

The police have not - with one exception - acted against organizers or participants of neo-Nazi gatherings. The police chief of Rakovnik, who ordered policemen to prevent neo-Nazis' access to their meeting in Kolesovice by not letting them out of the Rakovnik railway station is now being charged with a criminal investigation for misusing the powers of his office.

At the beginning of 1998, the Government, Parliament and the Senate approved a report from the Interior Ministry on activities of state organs in pursuing criminal offences with racial or xenophobic motives or perpetrated by extremist groups' sympathizers, despite the fact that this report is inaccurate and distorts the facts in many ways, clearly having been based on insufficient information.

Proposed steps to be taken by the Office of the Czech Republic Government:

Documentation Center for Human Rights Press Release, 27 Nov 1998.
Dokumentacní Stredisko Pro Lidská Práva 
Poštovní Schránka 70
149 00  Praha 415, CZECH REPUBLIC

Tel: +420 2 7912506
Tel/Fax: +420 2 22522083 

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